As a disclaimer: These photos were taken during a visit in February/March 2016, so this post may not be representative of this site today.
I interrupt this broadcast of the concrete jungle that is New York City to bring you to an experience I had in the middle of my trip that proved, let’s say, revelatory. I had never been camping before. I am not an outdoorsy person. But I thought, “Hey, winter camping maybe isn’t so bad, because it’ll be cold and not unbearably hot, and it’ll mean fewer bugs.” I was right, but I was also wrong. Were we ill-prepared and thusly turned what could have been a fun opportunity into a very not fun one? Maybe, but also there is not enough money in the world to get me to camp again in my life, much less, I have learned, in winter. Still, the place was beautiful, and the safety of time between then and now allows me to see this and remember it, not fondly, perhaps not that, but… appreciatively, now.
Belleplain State Forest
Covering an area of over 86 square kilometers (over 21,000 acres), the Belleplain State Forest is a New Jersey State Forest located in Northern Cape May County and Cumberland County.
It was established in 1928, and in 1933 the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) set up camps, converted what was once Meisle Cranberry Bog into Lake Nummy, and created the infrastructure that serves the park today.
The forest in the park contains the greatest variety of habitats anywhere in New Jersey, including saltwater marsh, Atlantic white cedar swamp, mixed hardwood swamp, and oak-hickory forest. The park is also a well-known birding sport, especially during spring.